For those of you who know me personally you’ll be aware of a rather large move Charlie and I have recently made to the USA. You’ll also know that I got married last Summer and started a rather time consuming job in September- you’ll also know that all of these excuses for letting my blog fall by the wayside are, legitimate, though slightly pants reasons for neglecting HLTC.
I still continued to cook though not quite with the leisurely care and consideration I had been doing previously. More, my cooking became, much like the majority of those in a relationship where both parties work: an exercise in keeping us nourished and staving off calling Dominoes too often (when the delivery chap starts calling you by your first name it is a BAD sign).
This is not to say my principals of food loving, experimentation and excitement were all for show in the early part of 2012- far from it. My love of creating new and tasty treats continued to be nourished by an ever supportive (and equally passionate about gorgeous morsels) husband and the opportunity to fiddle with old favourites and tweak traditional recipes encouraged by my friends and family. It was still all happening… I just got a bit lazy.
For that I whole heartedly apologise to those of you who grew fond of HLTC and am really pleased and excited to say that I am going to be back in the experimental (American) kitchen from now on!
To give a bit of context to what has happened in the last few months; Charlie and I have jumped across the pond to the east coast of America and are currently living in Providence, Rhode Island. Charlie is working over here (VERY legally Mr IRS and immigration man) but I can’t work until I apply for my work visa. I need a permanent address to do this and as we have been living a somewhat nomadic lifestyle in a variety of hotels and sublets, I haven’t been able to do this. Our permanent home will be ready for us at the beginning of July so I can apply for my visa then… or I can keep on blogging and call it a job.
Until July we are living in a beautiful apartment in an area of Providence called Hope. It is very bohemian and laid back; it reminds us of Southville in Bristol (thank you Rich and Adele for enabling me to make that reference!). Unlike our previous abode I now have full kitchen (hurrah!) and have started to make some scrummy bits and bobs that involve more than a microwave and the odd bit of pre-cooked pasta (god bless the Americans and their love of prepared food).
Now I’m not a fussy eater- far from it, which is always a problem as we come into swimwear season which is approaching a lot fast now I live in a country that has actual Summers (I do love you England, you damp little kingdom). However, I will never be satisfied food-wise when presented with a plate of the last two night’s left overs and a bit of something or other that’s going out of date tomorrow… never. This aversion to the proverbial ‘Sunday lunch soup’ (I’m sorry dad…) does however jar with another of my traits: I am incredibly thrifty. The desire to squeeze every bit of value out of whatever I buy runs through my veins like that drug from that film ‘Limitless’ does to Bradley Cooper (yum)- he makes money like I make a never ending parade of dishes from one carrot and bag of desiccated coconut. It’s not just a case of watching the pennies, or cents as it now is, but a kind of manic need to ensure nothing is thrown in the bin- it feels like burning dollar bills (you can’t burn pound coins so I thought I’d keep with the American references).
There is also another dimension to this which I’m sure will wear off in time but I’m making the most of it for now- I still have no idea about the value of a dollar. Don’t get me wrong, I know the exchange rate and I know petrol is super cheap I also know that everyone (especially in the UK) keeps telling me everything is so cheap in America. At the moment, however, dollars and cents feel like monopoly money, so rather than splurging it all on the assumption that everything is ‘so cheap’ I’ve gone the other way. In a year I’ll probably read this back and laugh at my cautious and timid ways whilst eating my gold plated sandwich with a side of diamond fries but until then I’m on team thrifty.
My first recipe mixes a little bit of home sickness with my aforementioned thrift. Thanks to a bit of ‘eyes-bigger-than-ones-ability-to-consume-ones-own-body-weight-in-fruit’ and the vast portion sizes here in the States we have a bit of a glut of Californian cherries. To be fair, seeing them in the supermarket in their portioned bag did not give a hint to the actual quantity of fruit we bought, only when they took up the entire top shelf of the fridge did we realise that there were quite a few. It was like buying a sofa from a DFS warehouse then realising it takes up your whole living room on delivery day… we did that to.
To make use of all this fresh fruit before it turns into mushy fruit I’m going to make an almond cake with a cherry cream filling.